From the savory to the sweet, many recipes call for evaporated milk. As the name suggests, evaporated milk is not vegan. Here’s our guide to making vegan evaporated milk for all your baking needs.
Traditional evaporated milk that you can find canned in the supermarket is made by heating cow’s milk at a high temperature to reduce the liquid concentration by about 60 percent. The result is a thicker liquid that has more flavor than regular milk.
Though a few vegan substitutes for evaporated milk products do exist, they can be hard to find and expensive. Since it’s just as easy to make it yourself and probably cheaper, why not try? From pumpkin pie to a vegan version of hollandaise sauce – this evaporated milk could give you that creamy consistency you needed.
We will walk you through three different plant-based alternatives for evaporated milk and weigh up the benefits of each one.
1. Vegan Evaporated Milk With Non-Dairy Milk
One of the easiest ways to make evaporated milk is with plant-based milk. You can use any vegan milk in place of evaporated milk, but the thicker ones such as oat or soy milk work better than thin ones like almond milk. Check how much evaporated milk the recipe calls for, and add twice that amount of non-dairy milk to a pot. Simmer until it achieves a similar consistency to evaporated milk, when approximately 40-50 percent of the liquid has evaporated.
For more specific instructions on making this vegan evaporated milk:
- 3 cups unsweetened soy or other non-dairy milk
- Add the chosen non-dairy milk to a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a simmer over moderate heat.
- Simmer for around 40 minutes, giving the milk a whisk every now and then, until the milk reduces by about half.
- Remove from heat and let cool. You can also filter the milk to remove any skin that might have formed while cooking.
- Use as soon as it’s ready or store in an airtight container for up to 1 week in the fridge.
Note: While some plant-based milks work better than others, you might also prefer the taste of certain milks, so experiment and see what you prefer. Look out for locally produced vegan milks or try making your own homemade oat milk to reduce your carbon footprint.
2. Vegan Evaporated Milk With Powdered Non-Dairy Milk
Another evaporated milk substitute is non-dairy milk powder. The good thing about this powder is it stays fresh longer, so you can store it in the cupboard, which may help reduce food waste.
As with the vegan milk substitution, this recipe works with most types of powered non-dairy milk varieties but rice and soy tend to work best.
- 1¼ cups boiling hot water
- 1 cup vegan milk powder, for example, rice or soy
- 2 tbsp. vegan butter
- Measure out the ingredients and add to a blender.
- Blend until well combined.
- Slowly remove the lid to not let too much of the steam escape.
- Use it right away for your recipe or store it in the fridge for up to a week.
3. Vegan Evaporated Milk With Coconut Milk
The simplest way to make vegan evaporated milk is to just use canned coconut milk. It doesn’t require any preparation and can be substituted at a ratio of 1:1. Plus, it already has the thickness and sweetness level of evaporated dairy milk, without needing to do anything to it first.
Some would argue that coconut milk has quite a strong flavor, so you might prefer to use it in dishes like soups or curries where you can mask the flavor with other spices. It usually isn’t the most local ingredient either, as it usually originates from South East Asia. If you go the coconut milk route, make sure to look for fair trade, organic coconut milk.
Bonus: Vegan Substitute For Condensed Milk
Condensed milk is virtually identical to evaporated milk, just sweetened with around 40-45 percent sugar, which makes it much thicker.
You can make your own vegan condensed milk by mixing in sugar with any of the evaporated milk substitutes above. In standard condensed milk, you will find around 54 grams of sugar per 100 grams of condensed milk, so keep that in mind!
- The 8 Best Vegan Substitutes for Heavy Cream
- The Best Vegan Substitutes for Butter
- Vegan Egg Substitute: 6 Ideas for Vegan Egg Replacers
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